Taking your baby on their first holiday is an exciting time. Their first time traveling on a plane, seeing new things, and doing lots of fun activities. But if you’re planning on travelling out of the US then you’ll need to get their first passport sorted. Unlike adult passports which last for ten years, a child under sixteens only lasts for five. It’s not overly complicated but there are a few things you will need to bear in mind. Here’s how you go about getting your baby’s first passport so you can enjoy a fun-filled holiday together.
Get Passport Photos
Since you’re not going to be able to use a photo booth for a newborn or infant, going to a photo studio that takes infant passport photos is your best bet. The photo will be taken with your baby lying down on a plain white or off-white background. For your baby’s photo to be accepted they will need to have both eyes open and their face straight on (not tilted) so that their chin and both ears are showing. Young babies can of course be unpredictable, and despite your best efforts, they might want to either cry or sleep through the entire thing which is no use. So try and choose a time that your baby is alert and content, has recently been fed, and has been for a nap to give you the best chance of getting it right the first time around.
Babies can’t be holding toys or using dummies in their picture and must appear on their own, so propping them up and supporting them with your arm, etc won’t be possible if it shows in the picture. You could alternatively take your baby’s photo at home using a light-colored blanket as a background. The picture will need to be clear, the correct size, and printed to a professional standard.
Get The Right Documentation
The documents you will need for your baby’s passport is form DS-11 which you can find online and simply print out. You will need to provide evidence for yourself such as your driving license or passport, as well as evidence of your child’s citizenship and your relation to them. A birth certificate is sufficient proof here, if you have misplaced this you can order a fast birth certificate easily online.
Submit in Person
US passport applications for babies and children must be submitted in person at a passport agency or passport application acceptance facility. Ideally, both parents will appear in person with the baby and sign the forms in front of an acceptance agent. If you are a lone parent applying for your child’s passport, you will have to provide and submit a statement of consent from the second parent along with the other documentation.
If you have sole custody of your child, you will have to show evidence of what happened to the other parent. While this can seem frustrating for a single parent, it’s in your child’s best interest. Imagine if your ex-partner was able to apply for a passport without your consent, and remove your child from the country. This process prevents situations like this from happening.